Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is one of the best superhero movies to come out in recent history. Its fantastic animation, ridiculous mishmash art styles, and a huge cast of characters is what make it so visually interesting and entertaining on a base level.
One of the main cast is Miguel O’Hara or Spider-Man 2099, voiced by Oscar Isaac. First teased in the end credits scene of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miguel takes on a major role as the de facto leader of Spider Society. However, there are many questions surrounding him and his circumstances.
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In the Into The Spider-Verse trailer, Miguel is shown manufacturing the dimension-hopping watch that takes the spotlight in the second movie. In the second movie, he has a significantly different personality than what was originally shown. A lot of Miguel’s history can be deduced using hints from Across the Spider-Verse and everything we know about the comic version of Miguel.
How Did He Become Spider-Man?
A researcher working for Alchemax in the year 2099 (hence the name), Miguel became Spider-Man in his efforts to remove a deadly drug from his body, gaining his powers when he spliced 50% of a spider’s DNA with his own afterward. Because of the way he gained these powers, Miguel shows some distinctly different abilities than the other Spider-Variants.
After becoming the Spider-Man of his universe, Miguel went through many adventures, eventually leading to him getting trapped in the past of his universe. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in the movie. Instead of traveling to the past, Miguel developed a device to hop between dimensions with the help of Lyla, his AI assistant.
Where Did it All Go Wrong?
According to the movies, Miguel lost the love of his life in a tragic accident in his original timeline. After developing the dimension watch, he found a universe where his wife was alive, but he had just died and taken his alternate self’s place. Because of his actions, the universe he now inhabited started to destabilize and eventually collapsed, killing all of its residents, including his wife and child.
Because of this traumatic experience, Miguel became jaded with life and made it his life’s mission to make sure something similar never happened again. He realized that straying from canon events leads to the universe’s collapse, so he made a society of Spider-Variants from different universes to keep track of any anomalies and prevent the worst from coming about. Because of his strict outlook on the multiverse, he goes head to head with Miles, and will be returning as one of the major antagonists in the third installation in the Spider-Verse.
As the leader of Spider Society, Miguel is strict and formal most of the time. He usually has a frown on his face and does a lot of grandstanding in front of newcomers, though the regulars in Spider Society don’t take him too seriously.
His treatment of Gwen shows that he has a very result-oriented outlook on life. No matter what the intentions were, if the results are bad, it doesn’t matter. He is also unsympathetic to her problems, sending her back to her universe and disabling her dimension watch, leaving her stranded there with her seemingly ruined life.
Furthermore, his interactions with Miles show that Miguel doesn’t have the classic Spider-Man wit. He doesn’t use humor in his normal speech and takes everything a lot more seriously than the other Spider Variants. Not only that, Miguel is unrelenting in his worldviews. He doesn’t even entertain the possibility that he might be wrong about canon events and their effect on the world, nor does he try to find alternatives that don’t have Miles experience his own father’s death.
In the end credit scene of Into The Spider-Verse, Miguel sounds upbeat and casual, in direct contrast with his personality in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. He cracks jokes and shares banter with Lyla. According to the dialogue between him and Lyla, this is when the prototype of the ‘Gizmo’ is first built, meaning this is when he first uses the dimension-hopping ability. This indicates that he experiences the catastrophic event that led to the death of his wife and child sometime after Into the Spider-Verse and before the start of Across the Spider-Verse, causing his personality to go through a drastic change.
Miguel is somewhat unique for a Spider-Variant. He didn’t get bitten by a spider and get superpowers; he spliced spider DNA into his own, leading to a slightly different set of abilities compared to other web slingers.
- Organic Webs: Similar to Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man, Miguel makes his own organic webs, at least according to the comics. He has spinnerets, the organ of a spider that makes webs, in his forearms that shoot out sticky webs. These are supposedly chemically identical to actual spider webs. In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miguel’s web has a sinister red glow. Whether that’s just a stylistic choice or if it means he has a different type of web is unknown.
- Superhuman: Like other Spider Variants, Miguel is better than a normal human in basically every way. He has better reflexes, stronger muscles, faster legs, better agility, and higher durability than the best athletes humanity has to offer.
- Talons: Unlike other Spider Variants, Miguel has access to talons. He can retract them at will and uses them to gouge into things to climb better and during fights to deal damage to his enemies.
Next: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – Best Easter Eggs For Hardcore Fans